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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 17, 2009 2:00pm-2:30pm EDT

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was using dilatory tactics, the majority then could have called the rules committee to seek a structured rule. instead the majority gave up after just one minority amendment, and immediately decided to use the heavy hand of the rules committee to close down the deliberative process. . so i wonder if they really had any intention at all to follow through on their initial call for members to be allowed to offer amendments that were preprinted in the congressional record. now, under the rule that we're considering at this time, only 22 specific amendments chosen by the majority are made in order and the rule also calls for the appropriation's ranking minority member to decide which 10 additional earmark related amendments shall be considered.
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so they're bucking the decision on which of their amendments they will block. the minority must now have to silence our own members, even though it was not our decision to limit amendments. i think that really is unfortunate conduct by the majority. if the majority wants to block amendments, they should have the courage to say whose amendments they wish to block. so, madam speaker, i think today we're witnessing a sad page in the history of this body. i think we're witnessing a day that, without doubt, will come to be regretted by the majority. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. >> madam speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. hinchey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for three minutes.
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mr. hinchey: thank you, madam speaker, and i want to thank chairwoman slaughter for yielding me this time. i'd like to commend chairman mollohan for doing an outstanding job with this year's commerce, justice and science bill. and i intend to vote for it, support it enthusiastically. i know that he had to make some hard choices and i am pleased that he was able to fund nearly all of the administration's requests for the national science foundation in particular. however, a provision in the report concerning materials research has just been brought to my attention and i am hopeful that as this bill moves to conference we might be able to address this language. the basic research and fundamental science funded by the national science foundation are vitally important to the future of our nation. however, there is language in the report eliminating the president's proposed increase in the n.s.f.'s materials research budget and it says so, quote, in
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light of similar investments and energy sciences, allegedly at the department of energy. it is my understanding that this may not be the case. the national science foundation's division of materials research funds research on the fundamental behavior of matter and materials that lead to the creation of new materials and new technologies. in addition, materials research supports instruments and facilities, including the cornell electron storage ring and cornell high energy. that source located in new york and they are crucial, both of them, for advancing in scientific field -- this scientific field. until this year the cornell facilities had been funded by the n.s.f.'s division of physics. they are currently transitioning to the division of materials research which may have caused some confusion. the president asked for an
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increase to support research and development at these cornell facilities. the department of energy does not have a facility comparable to cornell's and the work done at cornell is the most advanced in the world as far as we know. i would be happy to discuss this further and i hope that we can work together to clarify the report language on the n.s.f. materials research budget so that i will -- so that it, rather, will not affect the work of these important facilities and i thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida. mr. diaz-balart: i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from indiana, mr. pence. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pence: unanimous consent to revise and extends my remarks, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. pence: federal spending is out of control and i rise in strong opposition to this rule. here are the facts. we're running a $2 trillion
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federal deficit. the second traunch of the tarp funding allowed to be spent another $350 billion, the stimulus bill passed early err this year is over $-- earlier this year is over $1 trillion, an omnibus bill of $400 million and a budget passed by this administration and congress that will double the national debt if five years and triple it in 10. now comes the first spending bill for commerce, justice and state to the floor -- with an 11.7% increase in federal spending and republicans offered but 100 amendments which were designed to cut federal spending and restore fiscal discipline to this very first bill and after 30 minutes of debate on the first amendment that was offered, the majority cut off debate. the democrats in this congress apparently believe the republican amendments to cut run away federal spending would take too much time. apparently the majority can't spend our money fast enough. truth is, this was an outrageous abuse of the legislative
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process. but this debate is not about process. this debate is about run away federal spending and the american people have had enough of it. republicans in congress believe that congress has time to get it right. we believe this congress should take the time necessary to debate and to restore fiscal discipline to our federal budget. today beginning at this very hour, we will stand up for the american people, for their right, for a budget that reflects the same discipline and sacrifice that every american family and every small business are making during these difficult times. i urge my colleagues to oppose this rule and to take a stand against run away federal spending beginning here, beginning now. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: madam speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized.
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ms. jackson lee: i thank the distinguished chairwoman of the rules committee and i rise to support the underlying rule and to indicate that we are in some very challenging times. it is important that the national science foundation has been funded and in particular the second chance bill think a worked on with a number of my colleagues have been added to provide for the rehabilitation, the opportunity for work, for a number of those who are ex-offenders. and i raise some challenges. i had intended to you are a and respond to -- offer and respond to the short and of the nasa funding in this bill short of the president's mark. but as we have had the deliberations we realize that the augustine report is coming forward. i wanted to include $400 million and i -- that i think would have been appropriately inducted to provide for space exploration because we built the space station.
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that was our genius and we did it with our collaborators and allies that entity will provide the next generation of research and the only way to engage the space center in a national space station is to be able to have the c.e.v. vehicle and continue human space exploration. but the resolve is, in the report language it specifically notes that this does not disallow the addition of those dollars as we make our way through this legislation and to the conference committee. the augustine report will come forward and i hope that will not be a challenge. for it will be in essence an abandonment of a future that helps to employ people and create jobs. we know that in johnson space center alone, 11 million visitors have gone through in houston, texas, and as a 12-year former member of the science committee, having worked on safety issues dealing with the international space station, i know the value of human space flight and that space station.
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i also would have added language to restore the president's authority to close guantanamo bay. i know that we are looking at that in a way that some agree with and some don't. i believe the language that prohibits that is language that hopefully we will consider as we make it through and the president provides all the information that congress wants them to have. and then i want to at least place in the record the interests of continuing it to work with our juveniles that are engaged in violent juvenile crimes. we have seen the loss of life in many of our major cities and i had an amendment that would have provided for $20 million from the federal bureau of prisons construction programs, redirecting those funds to youth mentoring and delinquency programs. recognizing that violent crimes by juveniles largely take place at the end of the school day between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. it further causes the cost to
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educate while to incarcerate is more. in texas we are reef -- reaching a point where we have more youth in a criminal justice system than in the education system. i ask my colleagues as we move forward to think of these issues and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. diaz-balart: i yield two minutes to mr. hastings. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington state is recognized for two minutes. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks and add extraneous material to my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker,last evening i was patiently waiting here on the house floor to offer an amendment to the commerce and justice bill when they cut off our ability to represent our constituents with ideas to improve this legislation. at 8:00 p.m. last night the rules of the house allowed me to offer my amendment. but this morning under the
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rewriting of the rules, i am blocked from doing so. i deeply regret this unfairness. and this hostility to letting representatives, members of congress, come to the house floor for just five minutes and offer an amendment -- to a bill that spends rds 64 million. the amendment that i am blocked from offering is frankly very simple. it would restore the pacific coastal salmon recovery fund that has received strong bipartisan support for years and is an existing program, but which this bill explicitly eliminated. the pacific coastle salmon recovery fund is a successful grant to states program to help recover and reserve, endangered and at-risk tribal runs on the pacific coast. in april, president obama proposed in his budget to eliminate this fund and transfer the funds to another fund. from the northwest, the reaction was bipartisan and very swift. the success of this
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long-standing program was so compelling that the obama administration reversed its course, to their credit, and sent a letter to congress seeking to restore the funds to this recovery plan. my amendment, which i am now blocked from offering on this floor, would simply adopt the obama administration's position. so, mr. speaker, i regret this unprecedented rule, restricting house debate, and this successful epdangered salmon recovery program will suffer for it. in the house action to eliminate this plan frankly will make it much, much more difficult for our senators to do so in the other body. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. hastings: with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, i don't have any more speakers present on the floor so i will reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida.
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mr. diaz-balart: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the distinguished ranking member of the appropriations subcommittee, mr. wolf. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. wolf: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. wolf: mr. speaker, i have a chart showing that this country is pretty much facing bankruptcy. we have $11 trillion of debt. traditionally it has been the practice around here where the republican or democrat to have open rules whereby members could offer the amendment whatever they see fit. the american people realize that we're living in a trying economic time and rightfully expect their elected official to evaluate different spending programs to see whether they should be for or against them. if we cannot even cup um -- come up with a fair process to debate annual spending bills, there is very little hope, there is very little hope, there is very little hope for this country to deal with this. $56 trillion of debt, $11 trillion owed to the chinese and the saudis. the bankruptcy system is coming.
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we should go back to the rules committee, report out the original bill to allow any member who wants to offer any amendment, otherwise what you're going to do to this process, and i've been here for a few years, you're going to radicalize this process where nobody will feel that they have any investment in this bill. so i urge the defeat of this rule, send it back, have an open rule where every member can offer any amendment, republican or democrat, that they want to. otherwise we will never resolve this issue of $11 trillion. next time we come here it will be $12 trillion. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from new york. ms. slaughter: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from florida. mr. diaz-balart: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to mr. schock. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for three minutes. mr. schock: thank you, mr. speaker.
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last night i offered a simple amendment to study the economic impact of this body delaying the enactment of the colombia free trade agreement. while majority accepted my amendment, it was clear that my amendment would not be included in the final version of the bill. and as such, i requested a recorded vote as is my right as a member of the house of representatives. this right was then denied to me by the majority. this goes directly against what the speaker said in her new direction for america and i quote, every person in america has a right to have his or her voice heard. no member of congress should be silenced on the floor, end quote. i had an issue that i thought should be included in the bill and i have a right to try to amend the bill to include this provision. i follow the majority's requirements, jumped through all of their new hoops to offer this amendment. i followed all of the rules yet was denied not because of procedure, not because of decorum, and not even because my amendment lost the vote, rather i was denied by the majority because they didn't want their members to have to take a stand. now i come from the great state
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of illinois. i love my state, the land of lincoln, the home of obama. but my state is also home to george ryan, a governor who is now in prison, governor blagojevich, a man who is on his way, and a home who's home to chicago politics. i see this body headed in the same direction. what happened here last night was a clear step in the wrong direction. the majority has shut us out of one of the last rights of the minority, the ability to offer an amendment to appropriation bills. the majority now has even continued this trend into rules disallowing several noncontroversial amendments, a second of which i offered that would have added more funding to the minority business development agency, an agency which under the current bill will see a funding decrease over what the house appropriations committee approved last year. . mr. speaker, i ask the majority
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this. with a 40-seat majority, what do they fear in an open arena in the competition of ideas? what do they fear with letting a good idea stand the test of time, allow a hearing, allow debate, and allow their members to vote them up or down? with the 40-seat majority, partisan amendments, amendments that really have no substance, would clearly die on a partisan vote. but those amendments who carry value, those amendments who will stand the test of time, and those amendments that are right for the american people, independents, republicans, and democrats alike will pass this body and should loued -- allowed a vote. the majority last night argued that we were dilatory. i would argue it was democratcy. 20 minutes on an amendment is hardly dilatory. with 120 amendments, the worst case scenario, mr. speaker, would be four 10-hour days. i'd ask for 30 more seconds.
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mr. diaz-balart: 30 sonds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. schock: is four-10-hour days to debate 64 billion of american taxpayer dollars? we have seen the waste created by the haste of this body of the happy spending majority that this body has. with the stimulus bill, the overbloated omnibus bill, and now this bill which seeks to increase spending by over 12%. i urge a no vote on this rule to allow democracy to continue in this body. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlewoman from new york. ms. slaughter: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. diaz-balart: i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from new york, mr. lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. lee: i thank the gentleman from florida for yielding. i rise to strongly oppose this rule. i was here on the floor last night and waiting to offer an amendment to the pending appropriations bill that would give congress the opportunity to
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take a step towards restoring fiscal reality in washington. unfortunately the moments before my amendment was to be considered, the house was shut down and with it the ability to have sorely needed debate about the need for belt tightening. ironically not long before that i was holding a telephone town hall meeting with residents from throughout western new york and one of the questions i received was about whether i was disheartened with the process in washington my response was that, after five months in congress, i was frustrated mostly with the way in which washington continues to spend taxpayer dollars freely without any understanding of how the middle class lives in these difficult economic times. and how we will ever pay back this exorbitant amount of debt. my amendment and those offered by my colleagues presented a valuable opportunity to turn back the page on the excessive
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spending and work in a bipartisan basis to identify ways to make washington do more with less. these spending bills call for across-the-board increases in already bloated programs while ghorks my district struggle how to figure out how they'll get by and in many cases far less than they are used to having. our constituents struggling to make ends meet deserve better. i urge my colleagues to vote down this rule so we can have a truly open discussion of the shared sacrifices required to put our nation's fiscal house in order. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york continues to reserve the balance of her time. the gentleman from florida. mr. diaz-balart: i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from illinois, mr. roskam. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for two mun. mr. roskam: i thank the gentleman for yielding. from watching the attitude and really this spending adventure
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that the majority has taken on really reminds me of somebody that's paving a highway. what they have done is they want to completely flatten out any o opposition to really run away federal spending. just absolutely no restraining influence whatsoever, mr. speaker. so here you have a group of house republicans who are trying to articulate a sense of restraint. we are hearing from our constituents who are incredibly concerned about the pace of spending, and yet the speed bumps that we are have been completely flattened out. i offered an amendment which would have said, look, the speaker of the house recently accused people of committing a federal crime. a crime that is punishable if true by five years in prison. the amendment that i offered that met the previously articulated preprinting requirement would have said we are going to allocate money to the department of justice to
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investigate this accusation of a federal crime. and yet what does the majority do late at night in the wee hours when nobody's watching? they completely intame date by an open and robust debate. this rule is really an incredible disappointment. i think it's an incredible insult to the american public that wants to talk about spending. and is weary of the attitude that has come through from the majority. we know what we need to do. we need to stand up for the american taxpayer. stand up for our children. stand up for our grandchildren who are being saddled with a legacy of debt and vote against this rule. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york. ms. slaughter: i will continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. diaz-balart: i ask my friend if she has any additional speakers. ms. slaughter: i have not. mr. diaz-balart: i yield one minute to the distinguished republican leader, mr. boehner. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from ohio, the minority leader, is recognized for one minute. mr. boehner: let me thank my colleague for yielding. remind my colleagues that the constitution provides that the congress of the united states shall determine spending. the constitution of the united states also empowers our citizens to send their elected representative to washington to represent them. collectively we represent the american people. if you think about where we have been this year, we had the nearly $1 trillion stimulus plan when you look at the interest that's going to be paid on it. we had over $400 billion omnibus appropriation bill that had 9,000 earmarks in it. we had a budget that came through here that has trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see. we bailed out wall street.
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we have bailed out the auto companies. we are spending money and racking up debt at record levels. so here we are, we are starting the annual appropriations process. 12 appropriation bills that will spend nearly $1.5 trillion that we do not have. $1.5 trillion we are going to have to borrow from the american people and further imprison our kids and grandkids. and you would think that as we are debating the spending of this $1.5 trillion that the majority would do as it has done for most of our history and allow for an open debate. allow for a process that protects the franchise of each member of this body. but, no, we couldn't do that. there were conversations over the last couple of weeks about how to limit this process. and i made it clear to the majority leader and to the
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chairman of the appropriations committee that i wasn't going to agree to limit the ability of members to participate in this process as we try to control spending in this body. i made it very clear to mr. obey and to mr. hoyer we would work with them in an open process to facilitate it to try to maximize the number of bills that could be finished before the august recess. but apparently that wasn't good enough. so we came up with this convoluted process where we were going to require members to preprint their amendments. and all that did was drive up the number of amendments, most of which probably were never going to be offered. but the real point here is that there is a serious issue about how much spending and how much debt is piling up on the backs of the american people. members on both sides of the aisle want to have a real debate about how much spending is
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enough. and if we are going to spend, what is the appropriate way to spend? the american people sent us here and they gave us the world's most expensive credit card. i would also describe it as the most dangerous credit card in the history of the world. it's a voting card for a member of congress. and our constituents expect us to use this responsibly on their behalf. i can tell you that most of my colleagues on this side of the aisle believe that the majority is using this card recklessly to build up deficits and build up debt to record levels. the amount of debt and the amount of spending is going to imprison our kids and grandkids. all we want to do is have an opportunity to debate just how much spending is enough. that's what we are asking for. but to deny us our rights, protected under the constitution, denies the
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american people their chance to say how much spending is enough. i'm going to ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, let's do the right thing. let's defeat this resolution that's in front of us that will restrict the rights of all members. if we can defeat this resolution, we can go to a process that can work in a bipartisan way to address the needs of members on both sides of the aisle and we can do it in a bipartisan way. vote no. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from new york. ms. slaughter: may i inquire of my colleague from florida if he has any further speakers? mr. diaz-balart: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. diaz-balart: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. goodlatte: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, it's not surprising to me that the chairman of the rules committee continues to reserve her time in that there are few democrats who have come down to the floor to
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defend this terrible rule or this embarrassing bill that the rule brings to the floor. it's a disgrace what happened last night after only a few minutes of debate, legitimate debate on legitimate amendments, the majority moves to rise, goes back to the rules committee, and writes a rule that slams down more than 80 republican amendments, a number of democratic amendments, too. but far more republican amendments without any consideration whatsoever. we have heard from some of those speakers here just in the last few minutes. people who had good, sound amendments to offer. but i'd like to talk about the overall bill. that's my concern. this bill spends $64.31 billion, an 11.7% increase. where is that money coming from? every penny of that increase is going to be borrowed. in fact, the budget that the democrats adopted for this
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coming year, that this appropriation bill is a part of, spends $1.2 trillion more than is coming in in revenues. $3.6 trillion in expenditures, $2.4 trillion in revenues coming in. a $1.2 trillion deficit in one year. you know until this year, we have never had a single year in our nation's history when we have had more than a $500 billion deficit. $500 billion is a staggering amount of money. yet the budget they just adopted for the next 10 years, every single year exceeds $550 billion, rising at the end of the 10 years to about $700 billion. year after year after year, doubling our national debt and putting our country in great jeopardy. people don't even know what $1 trillion is.

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